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-   -   Hoping to become as poly as my boyfriend (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17272)

Kitty 11-17-2011 06:04 PM

Hoping to become as poly as my boyfriend
Hey everyone, I'm new on this forum, so nice to meet you^^

I've been together with my boyfriend for five years now, and he's been honest with me from the beginning that he was poly. I had been in an open relationship before, so it made sense to start one again, even though I have a lot of insecurities about myself and this style of relationship. But I went through with it anyway, because I was so deeply in love with him at the time.
Our relationship started out mostly mono in practice and I noticed that I started to get more and more anxiety about the poly aspect. Ethically I prefer this kind of relationship, it really seems like the right thing to do, but emotionally I can't deal with it. So for the past few years my boyfriend has been holding back on dating others on my behalf, but he can't keep doing this, and he's not going to change his mind about the poly thing either. I basically have to choose now between breaking off the relationship or adapting to the poly lifestyle, and that's why I'm here. Both options are extremely terrifying, but I think I should give our relationship another chance. Maybe things would be easier, if I would be the first one with a second lover? I would be really grateful for any advice on how to start with polyamory.

SchrodingersCat 11-18-2011 05:28 AM

Hello and welcome!

It's great that you're open-minded and willing to explore this.

One thing I've learned is that the scariest part of poly is the anxiety drudged up by imagining how horrible it can be. Many people find that living it is much less scary than imagining it.

I had some of these same apprehensions before my husband starting seeing other people, even though I was the one who staunchly declared myself poly and our relationship non-monogamous when we met. But when he started just doing it and I saw with my own eyes that the world didn't stop turning, it got a lot better. Then when I saw how excited and happy he was from his experiences, I got happy and excited for him.

I don't think that you starting off first will make it any easier. You will still have the same feelings you would have if you weren't dating someone else, compounded with guilt, "I shouldn't feel this way because I have another boyfriend too, so it's not fair for me to feel this way, but I do feel this way, and that's bad." (it's not bad)

That's not to say that if you meet someone you'd like to date that you should wait until your boyfriend meets someone too... just go with the flow, be open-minded and flexible, be honest about your feelings but own your feelings as being your reactions and not his fault. Beyond that, talk and talk and talk :D

Kitty 11-18-2011 11:01 AM

Thank you very much for your answer! My boyfriend actually told me the same thing, that the fear would probably be worse than reality. If that's true, it would probably be the best to start right away. But I'm not sure if I'm ready:S

The past few months we have been practicing with just kissing other people at parties from time to time, but my demand always was to do it together and have some kind of threesome. But lately I've been realizing this isn't easy for me either. Being intimate with two people at the same time stresses me out too much, but the idea of my boyfriend being alone with another lover scares me even more.

The reason why I thought it might be easier for me to start dating first is because I really want to find out if I can love more than one person at the same time. When the answer is yes, I would know poly could have advantages for me as well. For me it's harder to understand the needs of my partner when I'm not experiencing them as well.

Lucky for me my boyfriend is patient, as long as I'm making progress. And yes, I think we should talk a lot more about this subject.

AnnabelMore 11-18-2011 01:30 PM

A lot of people think threesomes will be easier, but that's not necessarily the case. What if you reeeally like the third person, but they like your boyfriend more? Then you'd be jealous of *both* of them! Plus, in a group situation you have to actually see your boyfriend be intimate with someone else, which can be very hard for some people. I <3 threesomes, but they definitely don't protect against the scary stuff.

It sounds like your boyfriend will still be poly and still need this no matter what, so why worry so much about what your personal relationship to poly will be? You may not really know for some time. Like, you may fall for someone really quickly but then eventually realize that you feel more mono and just want to be serious with the boyfriend after all. Or it may take you a long time to find a partner but when you do it could be someone you want to share your life with long term alongside the boyfriend. This stuff is way unpredictable.

I think it makes more sense to focus on whether you're getting what you need from your boyfriend -- enough love, sex, quality time together -- and if you are, then realizing that him being close to someone else won't take that away from you (except maybe some of the time, but not necessarily moreso than if he, say, joined a new sport or was taking a class). Even if you *are* mono (which is totally ok) you can still learn to appreciate the energy, friendship, and support that his other partners bring to him (and maybe even to you -- metamour friendships can be awesome). That seems like a better plan to me then worrying about whether or not things are even or trying to set up arrangements where jealousy won't be an issue.

zylya 11-18-2011 10:01 PM

I know you're talking about getting into another relationship, but poly is a two-way process. It sounds as though you're going to have the most issues with him having another partner, and you're hoping to mask that bad feeling by getting someone yourself.

The problem with this is that you still have that bad feeling, deep down. I'd say it would be better to let your partner start CASUALLY dating (but no further for now). Then explore the feelings, make sure you're getting all you need and start feeling your way through things, working your way up to the relationship you both want together. I trust that you know (or are working towards knowing) what that is...

I don't think there's many people who find it most difficult to be with someone else, since we all have multiple relationships throughout our lives (even if not all at once). I think the true test is how you react to your partner having someone else - there's a lot of feelings that get unearthed when your partner is out with someone else.

Given that he's poly, and you're not sure, I think that the best idea is to get used to the idea of him with other people, and don't worry about finding someone else yourself. If you do find someone, then fantastic! But I think it's going to be tougher long-run if you're not dealing with these emotions, and are instead surpressing them.

Best of luck whichever you choose :)

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